Wednesday, July 16, 2014


Elmer explored a preschool classroom in Malawi. There were some things he noticed were just like our class! 
The children build with blocks. 

They even made Elmer a little house. 

Everyone loves to smile for a camera. 

Just like our classroom, it is filled with tables, toys, and art on the wall. 

The children take breaks for snack time. Elmer enjoyed sampling everyone's treats. 

What do you notice about the school Elmer visited? 

Monday, July 7, 2014

Lake Malawi

Lake Malawi is just as long as the country of Malawi, so everybody is really proud of their lake! If you look on the map, you can see the lake. Elmer enjoyed swimming and walking along the shore. 

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Around the School.

Elmer loves school more than anywhere else. We've been going to the Ebenezer school every day for the past two weeks, and he likes to wander around meeting new people and checking out the grounds. 
Here Elmer is in the library, his favorite spot. Ebenezer has a lovely library full of books. 

During break time, he joins children on the playground. 

And he is a big help with reading groups. (I made them a letter tray just like the ones in our kindergarten at home!) 

Elmer has many new friends, but he misses his old friends most of all!

Monday, June 30, 2014

More About Babies.

Often babies are carried on the backs of their mothers. Elmer is very fascinated by this, since elephant babies are typically forced to walk due to their large size. As we mentioned before, in Malawi, women use a cloth called a chitenje to wrap their babies on their backs. My sister's students came over one day to help Elmer and I learn more about baby carrying. 
 Can you find Elmer in this photo? 

He likes the ride!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Corn. It's Called Maize.

People grow corn all over Malawi. They call it maize. Americans like to grill our corn and eat it off the cob. Malawians wait to pick it until it is very brown and dry. 

Then they make corn flour. You can see it drying here on mats. It is also a good picture to notice clothes drying on the line. Nobody here has electric dryers, but the sun is always bright and dries the clothes. 

On Top of the World

Elmer was a little bit nervous about using hammocks so close to the cliff. Susan and I enjoyed them though. 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Elephant Ears!

Elmer has officially found his favorite plant. This gigantic green leaf is referred to as an "elephant ear." 

Climbing a Mountain

Malawi is a country full of mountains. Elmer wanted to brag that he made it to the top of one of the mountains, but I reminded him that riding in a backpack is a bit easier than climbing. 

This mountain where we spent two nights looks over Lake Malawi. Some people say that a view is pretty. I am going to use a better word, kindergarten friends. The view was gorgeous or perhaps you might say stunning

Elmer thought perhaps we might see a lion or a cheetah on our hike. He knows from our trip to the zoo this year that they are both African animals. However, since they do not roam these parts of Malawi, we settled on another member of the cat family. (The common household cat). 

Hiking Buddies!

I wish I knew more about plant names. I can tell you this though, flowers are different in a tropical climate, where it is usually warm all year. You often see very large bright blooms on trees. 

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Where We Are.

Elmer and I are having many adventures, and we are both learning a lot. It takes time to get things on the internet here, but you will hear about it all in time! For now, Elmer is pleased to be settled in at my sister's house. Some Malawian people do not have electricity or running water, but her house has both. There is no hot water though, so we boil water for cooking and bathing. 
My sister and Elmer outside her house. 

Elmer enjoys playing in the front yard. The fence is homemade out of long grass. 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Welcome to Malawi!

Elmer was very tired after his long journey, but we both finally made it to Malawi. We immediately set off traveling and hiking, so there has been no internet connection. We are now at my sister's house, and Elmer and I will be updating his blog much more frequently. 

Malawian women carry their babies on their backs. They use an African skirt wrapped around them that is called a chitenje. They also often carry water on their heads.

Boys do not wear chitenjes, but Elmer wanted to try it out anyway. 

One stop in England!

When you have a very far way to travel, you often have to stop in different countries along the way. Since Elmer had never been to Europe, he was nearly giddy with the idea of spending 10 hours in the London airport. He wanted to look at all the gift shops and learn as much as he could about the British people who live there!

Peeking out of a tote bag with the British flag. It says "Keep calm and carry on," but Elmer is already the calmest elephant I know. 

I told him all about the guards at the Palace in London. They wear funny tall hats just like these ducks have on. Elmer thought he would make a good guard. 

And, of course, we saw the British flag. It has the same colors as the USA flag, red, white, and blue. Of course, the pattern is very different. 

No trip to London is complete without a cup of tea! British people love to have tea time. No coffee for them!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Elmer Flies Off!

Elmer was excited to see the airplane and know that we were finally going to be on our way. We had to get on three different airplanes to get to Malawi. It was a long way, and we were on the airplanes for a very long time. 

Lucky for us, the airplane has a little TV to watch. Elmer REALLY wanted to see Frozen. I was amazed he already knew all the words! (I'm guessing he watched it several times during his weekend trips in kindergarten!!) 
 After the movie, Elmer got very tired. He had no problem falling asleep with his eye mask and pillow! 
When you go on a long airplane ride, the stewardess serves you a meal. Elmer helped me smear jelly on the croissant for breakfast. See the little tray? It folds down from the seat in front of you so you can eat!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Elmer Hits the Airport!

He's ready to go! Elmer has a safe place to travel. 

While Elmer waited for the first flight, he reviewed and updated his blog. 

Then he called all his friends in the USA for the last time before he left. 

It's important to have your ticket while you travel. 

Elmer checked out all the other passengers. 

Eventually, Elmer began to get bored and started to do headstands in the waiting area. 

Saturday, May 31, 2014

8 More Days.

Elmer is eager to get going on his world adventure. He had a very short packing list.

1) Snacks for the airplane. 

2) Sunglasses 

3) One tube sock (We hear it gets cold at night! It is technically winter in Malawi!)

4) His passport, of course

5) Enough peanuts for a month. You can never have too much of your favorite food. 

Of course, as a kindergarten alum, Elmer has embraced being a lifelong learner. He reminded me it is extremely important to do some non-fiction reading before visiting a new place. 

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Elmer has Summer Plans

Hey there kindergartners! Did you know our classmate Elmer has been feeling a little blue lately? He told me he's going to miss his weekend trips to your houses when summer vacation begins. Elmer loves adventure, after all. To cheer him up, I promised to take Elmer on my excursion to Malawi. I'll be visiting my sister and some kindergarten students there. After all, Elmer's elephant relatives did come from Africa. 

Stop by anytime to catch up with the only elephant in kindergarten!